Identification & Biology: Can be easily identified by its striped first dorsal fin. Despite their name “mul;et” these fish are not closely related to the many other species called mullet. The red mullet is a light-pink fish with scales throughout.
Range & Habitat: The red mullet is highly valued as food fish, especially in the Mediterranean Region.
Buying Tips: An infallible guide to freshness is the color: if this begins to fade, the fish is going off. The flesh should be quite firm, the body almost rigid, the skin tight and the eyes prominent and clear. The flesh should be white, with a fine texture and delicate flavor. Red mullet is sold whole and in fillets, both fresh and frozen. Whole fish are usually sold un-prepared.
Best season: October to May
Best color and quality: bright pink streaked with gold and a black striped front dorsal fin
Storage: The fish is extremely perishable and must be consumed within a short time
Recommended Preparation: The liver of red mullet is a popular dish in many European countries. It has a creamy texture similar to chicken liver, it is usually left intact when the fish is gutted. Red mullet fillets require pin-boning, but the fine skin, once scaled, is usually left attached. Red mullet is most often pan-fried, grilled or steamed; the bones make excellent stock.
Nutritional value: 80 Cal per 100 g; rich in protein, iodine, iron and phosphorus